Tony winner Stephanie J. Block (‘The Cher Show’) on her unlikely friendship with the music icon [WATCH]

Stephanie J. Block won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for playing Cher in “The Cher Show,” and she actually heard from the artist herself before the event. “She was wishing love,” Block told members of the press across the street from Radio City Music Hall after her victory. “She’s really proud of the show. She said that it’s bringing so much joy at a time when some of us have some heavy hearts … She’s so authentically herself.” Watch her entire press room Q&A above, and check out the complete list of winners here.

Though Block was just honored for singing Cher’s musical catalog, it wasn’t actually the artist’s music that first attracted her. She remembered seeing a Cher-inspired Barbie doll that she closely identified with as a child: “That’s what really drew my attention first, then the movies, then the music, and now, as odd as it sounds, a friend.”

During her acceptance speech, she held a journal entry she wrote as a child in which she imagined someday winning a Tony Award, and it’s still sinking in that that dream actually came true 16 years after her Broadway debut in “The Boy from Oz” in 2003. “That little journal paper was from 1984,” she said, “and so to stand up there 30-some years later and to know that that actually happened really brings me to my knees because there were so many times I thought, New York is just too much, it’s all too much. I quit this business at least two or three times a year, and yet I still stand here because of the people who love me, and I know it all takes endurance and tenacity.”

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